Rising temperatures are hitting the Bay Area and SAGE wants to help keep your pets healthy and safe with these Summer Safety Tips!
#1: Pets should be kept indoors during extreme heat. Start planning your outdoor activities with your pets during the cooler parts of the day: early morning and evening.
#2: If the sidewalk is too hot for you to walk barefoot, it is too hot for your pet to walk on. During hot weather, sidewalks and pavement radiate excessive amounts of heat and can be too hot for the pads of your pet’s paws.
#3: Fresh, clean, accessible water is always essential for your pet, especially during the summer when pets can become dehydrated quickly.
#4: The SAGE Emergency team sees many heatstroke/overheating cases throughout the summer season. For prevention, Dr. Kimberly Oparil of the SAGE Emergency Department will give insight on pet’s normal body temperatures and signs of overheating/heatstroke.
Normal Body Temperatures:
Dog: 101 -102.5° F
Cat: 99.5-102.5° F
Early signs of overheating/heat exhaustion include:
- Excessive panting
- Fever (they can feel warm to the touch)
Heat exhaustion can rapidly progress to heatstroke, which leads to cardiovascular, neurologic and clotting dysfunction. Signs of more severe heat stroke include:
- A weak/wobbly gait
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Blue or bright “brick” red gums
- Rapid heart rate
- Bruising (called petechiation) or bleeding.
Additionally, take note there are some dogs that are predisposed including brachycephalics (Bostons, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Pugs) or any dog with a short muzzle, older dogs, overweight dogs or dogs with laryngeal paralysis.
When their temperature rises above 103° F, it’s important to get your pet cooled down immediately. Dr. Oparil recommends using cool water, bathe them (if safe to do), hose them down, or use cool damp clothes and get your pet immediately to a veterinarian! Do not ice your pet.
Tip #5: Don’t leave your pets in the car, even if you have the windows cracked or air conditioning running. Temperatures within the car rise quickly to 150 degrees within minutes, causing your pet to become overheated. It’s also illegal in many states, including California.
Tip #6: Keep an eye on your pets when they are near a pool, beach, or on a boat. Not all animals can swim well or know how to get out of the pool. Consider purchasing a life vest for your pet to prevent any accidents.
Tip #7: Fleas, ticks, mosquitos are everywhere during the summer season carrying tapeworms, heartworm, and a variety of other diseases. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian on medications to protect your pet from those pesky pests.
SAGE Veterinary Centers is here for you 24/7, 365 days a year!
For more information and tips on pet wellness, please visit our SAGE Advice page.